If you are still in Austin and are not planning a big celebration lunch (Congrats Tigers!) Here is a favorite casual spot with 60 locations in Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas. There are 15 in Austin alone, but our favorite Torchy’s is a very cool retro space right out of the “Jetson’s” on South Congress Street, though the food is consistently good chain-wide. It’s really just hard to go wrong here. Except for the fried avocado, but we’re just not fans of the idea.
If you are hungover from a wild night of celebration, there is a pretty good selection of breakfast items. Migas, and such. It is Texas, after all.
But we love the regular stuff. Torchy’s has the best version of chips we’ve seen anywhere. They are light-but-not-too-light and toasted perfectly, with a tiny rim of brown on some edges. They are tough enough to hold a heaping scoop of queso or salsa or guac, all of which are good here. Especially the queso.
The tacos are fun and interesting. The owner, white-tablecloth chef Mike Rypka, drove around Austin selling his tacos out of a trailer. He knew he had something when he kept hearing people refer to them as “Damn good tacos,” and that has become the restaurant’s slogan. We agree.
1822 S. Congress Ave Austin, Tx
If you are into barbecue, there is always the famous Franklin Barbecue in a "gentrifying" part of Austin, but the locals prefer Terry Black's. Maybe they're not into four-hour lines.
On the way home through Houston, a drop into Hugo's is always worth it, we think. And Brennan's downtown is a treat. The Brennan family program with a Southwestern twist. A beautiful place.